Tom Hanks has dismissed the current nepotism debate.
The Nepo Babies controversy has been around for quite some time — famous artists have long since, either explicitly or through simply existing, helped their progeny get a leg up — but of course you’ve probably heard the more focused conversation lately. Vulture recently detailed the Nepo-Baby Verse by amassing a list of some musicians and actors who may or may not be in their current position due to their parents. As expected, this did not happen without a fuss. Some artists like Willow weren’t bothered at all while Lily Allen feels “scapegoated,” and Kate Hudson pushed back slightly but ultimately said that she “doesn’t care.”
Whereas Jack Quaid, who some people didn’t even realize was the son of Jack Quaid and Meg Ryan, previously admitted that he had considered changing his name since he anticipated people thinking that he didn’t deserve roles. Now, everyone’s Dad, Tom Hanks (who has been married to fellow actor Rita Wilson forever), has been asked to weigh in on whether the “nepotism” argument is fair and whether it applies to his family. Hanx and Wilson are, of course, parents to one fine actor, Colin Hanks, as well as Chet Hanks, who has, well, dabbled in different areas. In addition, Tom cast another of his sons, Truman, in the recently released A Man Called Otto.
“Look, this is a family business… This is what we’ve been doing forever. It’s what all of our kids grew up in. If we were a plumbing supply business or if we ran the florist shop down the street, the whole family would be putting in time at some point, even if it was just inventory at the end of the year.”
That’s a fair point, but also, it’s fair to say that a successful acting career (and being fortunate enough to tell stories for a living) is cushier than running a retail business, so the Nepo Baby discussion is not unwarranted. Still, Hanks believes that “[t]he thing that doesn’t change no matter what happens, no matter what your last name is, is whether it works or not.” He continued: “That’s the issue anytime any of us go off and try to tell a fresh story or create something that has a beginning and a middle and an end. Doesn’t matter what our last names are. We have to do the work in order to make that a true and authentic experience for the audience.”
In other words, Hanx is “not trippin,’” so that runs in the family, too.